tv The War Room Current February 28, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
"" and the last fight let us face "" "" the lnternationale "" "" unites the whole beautiful human race "" "" so comrades, come on, let's go rally "" "" and the last fight let us face "" "" the lnternationale "" "" unites the whole darn human race. "" "" jesus christ was a man "" "" that traveled through the land "" "" a carpenter true and brave "" "" and he said to the rich "" "" give your goods to the poor ""
>> michael: this is the war room. i'm michael shure. coming up tonight the betting window is about to close on the sequester stakes. it looks like "no deal" is the odds-on-favorite. but is there time for a dark-horse solution to emerge? let's find out. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> michael: all eyes are on washington where the showdown over the sequester is coming to a crescendo. all sides have staked out positions before tomorrow's talks at the white house. unless a deal is made friday, president obama will have to order the $85 billion in across the board cuts in federal spending. meanwhile, the senate rejected both republican and democratic bills that would chart a path out of the mess. but that's to be expected in the world's greatest filibustering body. over in the house let's just say both sides don't see eye to eye on the origin and effects of the sequester.
>> it holds hostage the future, the growth of our country for an ideological anti--government attitude. >> there are many people in washington though, who believe that the government--who don't believe the government has a spending problem. you have the minority leader and the minority whip who don't believe we have a spending problem. the president told me directly back in december we don't have a spending problem. >> michael: speaker boehner, we have more than a spending problem in this country. we have a republican problem. freshman democratic congresswoman tammy duckworth could have a spending problem herself if both sides don't reach a deal. she's matching the sequestration cuts with a self-imposed 8.4% pay cut. that's the same percent angle cut most discretionary programs will be facing. duckworth noted that if congress is going to balance the budget
on the backs of working americans, it is only fair that i bear that burden with them. what a novel idea for washington. thank you tampa tammy. for the latest on where things stand, let's let's go to politico reporter juana summers in washington. >> thank you for having me back. >> michael: what are we going to% see. >> this is a public personal battle. he went to a shipyard in news port news, these are real people's lives. you can see different members of the obama cabinet, of the administration coming in saying how the sequester has impacted them. thou we're getting down to the 11th hour meeting literally hours before the cuts will take place.
no one on either side is optimistic that there is not going to be a change, but the movement in the right direction is having the parties in the same room instead of the pr going back and forth between the democrats and the republicans. >> michael: well, isn't this a p.r. war? they're getting the leaders to the white house. that could have happened today yesterday or last week, isn't that part of the war. >> you're absolutely right. that's something that house lawmakers have been point to go. i talked to one who in virginia just across the water and he said the president probably isn't going to find a fix to the sequester. he could have come closer to home and sat down with congressional leaders yes this is part of the washington optics game. i don't think people think this will be a deal that had stop the sequester that will come out of this meeting tomorrow. >> michael: so are republicans
the same republicans who are complaining, are they signaling at all that they're willing to compromise at all. >> the republicans led by house speaker john boehner said this is the president's sequester. they fall back and say in congress they passed two bills to avert the sequester cuts while the house has failed to to do so that once. boehner said that we've done our jobs, now the senate needs to do their. there are some factions that say sure we need to move forward but those are small minorities. the majority of the republicans are not seeing movement on this issue. >> michael: thisthere has been talk about what a win for the white house would look like. what does a win for john boehner look like? >> obviously this is more of a high-stakes situation for john
boehner. president obama has won his last election. john boehner has a gavel at stake and the stature of his party and caucus in the capitol. there is a lot at stake for him, what kind of stop-gap or congressional agreement can mitigate those cuts. >> michael: so well put juana. i think he is the star, john boehner, is the star of the soap opera playing out. juana summers from politico. now let's get back into some news of the day. >> on this vote the yay's are 286 and the nays are 138. the bill is passed. >> michael: that is the house passing the senate's version of
violence against women act. the vote came after months of posturing by the g.o.p. which included a failed house vote today on their own watered down version of the bill. the president is expected to sign the law soon. we're keeping an eye on the right to marry. we treated same-sex marriage like a civil rights issue on this war room because that's what we believe it is. now the highest ranking law enforcement official has concurred. attorney general eric holder told "abc news" today, quote f my perspective this is really the latest civil rights issue. it is a question of whether or not american citizens are going to be treated with equal protection of the laws. it seems pretty straightforward to me, and they said they would file on the prop 8 case. 100 prominent republicans have now signed on it their own supreme court brief supporting
marriage equality. that's good but there are still plenty of g.o.p.ers like glen glunhagen who refuse to recognize the civil rights aspect of the issue at a press conference yesterday. >> we're talking about gay marriage not a characteristic like the color of your skin. i urge you as the news media to give both sides a fair and open hearing on this debate because it has tremendous ramifications in the only for our society but for our children in general. >> michael: ah, yes, our children. well, this media member will consider both sides. do we want our children growing up in a land of hatred, fear and prejudice, or do we want representative gruenhagen voted out of office, okay? we're also watching the latest developments in the gun safety debate. in the 76 days since the
massacre inside sandy hook elementary school 2333 americans have died from gun violence. that's 89 nu towns since nu town. today the maryland state senate passed a bill that would keep guns out of the hands of people with mental illness. martin o'malley supports the bill. progress is slower in the united states senate where the judiciary committee postponed today's work on gun safety measures. what's going on in west virginia shows how difficult it will be for enough senators to get on board to pass the bill. there the national association for gun rights is running a campaign to paint democratic senator joe manchin as wanting to set up a federal gun registration system. he's not for that. he's for common sense reform keeping guns out of the hands of
the criminal and mentally ill. >> i've been hearing roomers and lies about my position on guns. i want to be very clear and tell you i'm a proud gun owner. nobody's going to take my guns, and i'm sure as hell not going to let them take your guns. this is a bunch of crap and people talking about things that they don't know what they're talking about. >> michael: i have a feeling that's going to be some of the most soft-spoken rhetoric we're going to be hear on this issue. vice president biden is taking his gun safety message to gun owners specifically outdoors men. biden didn't water anything down for the hunters and fishermen. saying quote if you have to go up in the poconos and go bear hunting or deer hunting with that weapon, and you need a clip that has 30 rounds in it, then you shouldn't be hunting. you're a danger to yourself if you can't get the bear or deer in four or five shots. you've got a problem. i love that guy.
and and finally to the campaign front republicans uphill battle to win jesse jackson jr.'s seat could be a lot more challenging now that convicted felon is on the way to winning the party's nomination. paul mckinley has a slim 35-vote lead in the republican primary. he said he's putting ex-offenders back to work. i doubt chicago voters will do the same for him. coming up, we've been up to our ears in a sequester going for a month now. we'll take a final pre-deadline plunge with mike tomasky of null "newsweek" daily beast right after the break and plus they are the moments that changed america. and author taylor branch knows them well. he joins us. the march goes on. "the war room" on a thursday. we'll be right back.
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woodward started making some surprising statements this week about the white house and the sequester. take a listen to this. >> what was said? >> it was said very clearly, you will regret doing this. >> who sent that e-mail to you? >> i'm not going say. >> was it a senior person at the white house? >> a very senior person. and it makes me very uncomfortable to have the white house telling reporters you're going to regret doing something you believe in. >> michael: so when one of the reporters who uncovered the watergate scandal talks we listen. here's the thing. it appears he exaggerated. today the white house released those smoking gunny mail exchanges between woodward and gene spering, economic adviser to the president and they wouldn't even get the homeland security's lowest threat level of green. i truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying that the potu asking for
revenues is moving the goal post. i know you may not believe this, but as a friend, i think you will regret staking out that claim. what sperling is trying to tell the now shamelessly self-promoting journalist whose book is not 9 best seller he had hoped it would is he would regret reporting a huge factual error on the sequester. who is right and who is wrong in this d.c. politico spat. and in the sequester. joining me now is michael tomasky. could it be that woodward didn't understand what sperling was saying? in they've known each other for a long time. they've known each other back this the clinton days when gene sperling was a prominent white house budget official. i don't think so. i don't think so. i know gene sperling. conspiracy of all he's 5'6" or
5'7". he's not going to bring it at you that way. he's clearly saying you would regret this in terms of your future reputation as a journalist. he's right. woodward got that wrong and that's really what can't be lost here. when woodward said that obama moved the goal post, he's dead wrong and doesn't understand the situation. >> michael: explain that. explain what he's wrong there in terms of the facts. major news outlets are not reporting the facts that were "r" wrong. what are they? >> it's a little bit technical but i'll try. i guess woodward's understanding of the sequestration was that as you recall this legislation called for the creation of a super committee right? the congressional super committee, six from each party to get together and to try to come up with some cuts.
and if they didn't come up with some cuts, then these sequestration cuts would kick in--excuse me, if the super committee did in the come up with whatever, a deficit reduction. a very important distinction a mixture of cuts and revenues if you can get revenues on the tables. so the super committee had a deadline of november 2011. thisthey did not meet their deadline and did not make a deal. woodward is thinking if the super committee failed then that means the cuts kick in. of course there was 13 ms. between then and now or 14, and there is still time for congress to go back and redo this and revisit this and try to come up with a compromise situation. so woodward is doing a very narrow technical reading of the law which is actually just in practical sense really wrong. >> it's wrong, it's unfair. let's appease the the the cynics.
book sales are slow for bob. >> that's a reasonable question. let's not let politico off the hook. i think politico stirred this pot, too they used the threat woodward did not use the word threat but the moil cowriters who characterize, who wrote it up wrote up his interview with cnn. they did say that woodward, they interviewed woodward, and he repeated this phrase twice and their characterization was threat. woodward was saying this afternoon, i didn't say threat. there is a little bit of blame to go around. >> michael: it seems that way. let's get to the meet of the sequester a little bit more. let's take a listen of what the president said last night. >> the issue is not technical.
the issue a political. the question is whether or not we are going to see a willingness on the part of all parties to compromise in a meaningful way. what that means is democrats have to accept the need for entitlement reform, but it also means that republicans have to accept the need for additional revenues. >> michael: so michael, it looks like no deal is going to be made before the sequester deadline tomorrow. so it makes us look at the other possible deadlines, is this the only deadline that congress is going to miss this year? >> this are many deadlines. there is one coming up on march 27th. that's when a deadline hits that congress has to pass new continuing resolutions as they're called to fund the agencies of government. we're looking at a possible government shutdown on march 27th if that doesn't happen. there is a self imposed
congressional deadline on the 15th if they don't make one by then then they don't get paychecks. that may be a motivator for them. and then may 18th when debt may hit up against debt ceiling. congress, as you know, they can pass legislation and impose all kind of deadlines. they can make this whole year a year of deadlines. that's what i think they probably want to do. you know, they know that they'll discredited themselves, but they feel as long as they're discrediting obama along with it i guess they're happy to do that. but what obama is said is right and people should remember right now as we speak the white house has on the table a proposal to the republicans that has twice many spending cuts as it does tax revenues, and has has this social security chain cpi wrinkle, so they put entitlement reform, and big spending cuts on
the table, but republicans are the ones who are not budging and saying, our way or the highway. >> michael: and they're not defining what their way s they're fighting within their party and it makes me think of the cpac conference that didn't invite chris christie to its gathering. this is what congressman king said about that. if rinse had any brains they would stay away from cpac. the thought this he's being penalized because he sought to get the aid for sandy relief is unreasonable. is this proving that the g.o.p. has a huge branding problem? >> yes, it's a party driven by rage and resentment and it wants revenge on chris christie. it's an emotional thing. this is nothing rational about this at all. they want to punish chris christie. he toured with obama and its
like charlie crist when he accepted the stimulus money and appeared on the stage with obama. now they might forgive christie down the road because he has one of the better shots at winning the white house in 2006 but it makes them blind, the idea that he acknowledges the human existence of barack obama. >> michael: ironic looking back knowing that rick scott who beat charlie crist is also accepting money from obama for the healthcare. michael tomasky for joining us from daily beast. up next, a big win. we'll talk about the importance about violence against women act right here after the break. [ ♪ music ♪ ] (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying.
>> michael: let's begin with the story of gwen moore who grew up in milwaukee in the 1960s. the eighth of nine children to a factory work and schoolteacher. during that time she went on a date with a boy who she considered a friend, but instead he dragged her behind a building and brutally raped her. it turned oh out to be part of an among a group of boys if anyone could get the self self-describe egg head. the court blamed her for dressing provocatively and the boy was found not guilty. one in five american women have been raped, and one in four attacked by an intimate partner. many suffer long-term health impact like chronic pain and
difficulty sleeping. but gwen moore was able to persevere and now she's in congress. the violence against women act was introduced by joe biden but it expired this year. they weretheyjust in their minds they were doing enough to help women but to help gay people went too far. >> i pray that we'll come together as one to protect all women from violence. as i think about the lgbt victims who are not here, the native women who are not here,
the immigrants not included in this bill, i would say ain't they women! >> michael: wow, finally today 500 days after they let the act expire house republicans caved and reauthorized the bill, some of them did. the vast majority, 138 republicans still voted against it. but with the support of the house democrats it passed. joining me now chris teens pelosi she joins the california women's caucus. welcome inside "the war room." >> thank you. >> michael: why did they cave? what forced the republicans to cave on this. >> millions of american women and men who rose up and said enough is enough. rape is rape. it could happen to any of our daughters. it could happen to any of us. gwen moore got justice for her rape and it's important for women to know and men to know
that help is on the way. we have to fight the sequester that tomorrow would cut $20 million out of vawa, but as a former rape prosecutor i'm proud for the women speaking out. i was a prosecutor in the 90s. i couldn't imagine a woman standing on the floor and talking about rape. she said come out of the shadows. you are not to blame. the victims are survivors. they are praised not blamed. it's a beautiful day in this country. >> michael: it had to be a spectacularly satisfying moment for gwen moore. how are we misinterpreting what the republicans are doing the republicans who voted against it. >> there is a deep misogyny a deep fear of women and women of
color and we have to be clear about that and not shy away what it is. this is male privilege and it's white privilege and it has to stop. it should not be legislateed in our country. as activists we have to make sure that everyone is at that seat of power. today some of them stepped forward in the future, and that's a good thing. >> michael: it's cool it watch it happening to see them move from the past, to see progress leave them behind. >> the majority of american people voted for the house last fall. it was only gerrymandering that kept us apart. i'm proud of the work that house democrats have done saying we have to come together. if nancy pelosi were speaker again, we would have a better bill, but this is a good bill, a very good start and this represents literally the difference between life and
death between being stuck in relationships and being free. >> michael: and the first step on making her speaker. let's move on to women in the workplace. yahoo's chairman marisa meyer said she's going to put an end to telecommuting which will have a big affect on the lives of women in terms of home care and child care and in terms of rearranging their lives. what do you think of this? what do you think of this move by yahoo. >> i think it is ill conceived and i think it will fail. forget for a moment that we have a female ceo. i thought it was bank of america who did it, whether you're bank of america or yahoo we learn that working parents are working for any company. if you feel that you have someone who is not pulling their weight, then do a case by case look at it. this is a mistake and in this culture in california we have a
lot of people who tell telework, myself included. we have a lot of people in this work culture this ability to balance work and family, men and women. what this says to working moms, what this says is to working dads, if you're on the mommy track or the daddy track you're not going to make it. that's simply wrong. >> michael: what does this say further about putting businesses in charge of how we treat families rather than letting laws and government decide that. >> they are linked. it's part of money and politics. this is what i wrote on "huffington post" yesterday it's showing in a very unattractive way. the reality is that once business does it, once yahoo does it, then lawmakers will say, well, we don't need to worry about fair pay, we don't need to worry about flex time and look you have a woman ceo of
her company, and she's not letting them do it. >> michael: and it's inextricably tied. >> ceos who give money to elected officials to make policy, are making business policy they're going to influence public policy. what did we just say? an african-american rape survivor lead a national movement for the violence against women act. if we don't someone like a gwen moore as a ceo or congresswoman we will not have the policy that we saw happen today. we need to encourage more women more women of color more parents to be in decision-making positions in companies. when they are not only will it help those companies but it will tellthosebusiness leaders will influence politics. >> michael: it's too bad that you're not passionate about this stuff. it's great. coming up next, the seismic
shift in the history of our country. the most important moments of the civil rights era with author taylor branch right after this. question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us. [clucking]. everyone wants to be the cadbury bunny. cause only he brings delicious cadbury crème eggs, while others may keep trying. nobunny knows easter
but i want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. [applause] >> michael: those were the hauntingly prophetic words of martin luther king jr. on april 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated in memphis tennessee. thanks to the move king and other civil rights activists launched we now live in a more equal society, but what does today's generation really know about martin luther king jr. and the battle for civil rights? we look at some of the pivotal moments of this period. with me tonight is the perfect guest for the job pulitzer priceprize winning author taylor branch. welcome to the war room tonight taylor. you wrote what i would say is the book about the movement. it's a critically acclaimed
trilogy about this period. what made you decide to write a more consolidateed version now? >> two things. the persistent complaints of teachers over the years that they love the storytelling approach to history, especially in matters of race relations but 800 pages is hard to assign college students let alone high school. one thing education. these kids don't get the education through their umbilical cords and if it's as vital as i think it is for good citizens we need the help of teachers. that's why it's important for the dedication of teachers and students of history for freedom. frustration that we're so out of phase with this history and theypolitical leaders don't
appreciate what is natural from this period from 50 years ago. we seem to have buried it so much that we've lost our balance in politics today. i was hoping that showing these moments would help reawaken people. >> michael: the speech came the night before being assassinated. it came with the "i have a dream" speech. it was very moving, can you tell us about the background that brought king. >> he'shejust before starting his poor people campaign. the poor sanitation workers had gone on strike when two members were crushed in the back of the
garbage truck because rules for bad black sanitation workers for seeking protection from thunderstorms storms was the back of the garbage truck where they were compacted. king felt he had to be there with them. it's not widely known. but another storm like the one that started the sanitation strike came that night. he was in despair. he had just had violence for the first time in one of his demonstrations, so he felt a great sense of forboding but a determination to bring non-violence back in a march the very next day. that's the emotion that you hear in his voice in that speech. >> michael: you know i talked about which speech we know and which events we know. a lot of us know about the assassination of king and the life of king. is there something about this period that you wish more people
knew about? >> i would say there are hundreds of them. but of the 18 that are mentioned here i would probably single out the one right in the middle, in the summer of 1964 when the power of race surfaced enough in american politics from where we normally hide it in the closet and pretend that it's not there to turn partisan politics upside down and the republicans in that summer actually out in san francisco out at the cow palace turned on a dime in a century of being the party of lynn gone progressives for the rights of black people to the party of white folks when berry goldwater announced he was going to oppose the civil rights act. the very first southern republican sprang up in the area where i grew up, and we never even had republicans. they were yankees.
they sprang up because a barry goldwater opposed the civil rights act and johnson came to embrace the civil rights act saying it's going to cost us the south, and not just for our generation. we had been living for 50 years with the consequences of that and largely pretending they don't exist because we don't discuss race very much in politics. >> michael: that's very true. we talk about freedom summers being the under appreciated parts of the people. who are the under appreciated people in your estimation from the civil rights movement? >> well, you mentioned freedom summer. freedom summer was largely the brainchild of barn moses, of snick, a young philosophy is graduate from harvard. basically went into mississippi right by himself and gang taking
share croppers up to the courthouse to be vote and was beaten and created a model almost an alternative leadership model to martin luther king jr.'s follow me chatcal oratoriy. he was very soft-spoken and stayed down there and created a tremendous following among the young people. and it was his idea it have that freedom summer. his influence is still being felt but he's not wild widely known. any first would be diane nash from nashville. she had pioneer the freedom rides when adult freedom rides broke down in birmingham because they were beaten so badly. she took a group down from nashville and said we cannot let violence stop the movement. it became a summer-long phenomenon that created one big
movement of nationwide activists out of a lot of little scattered movements. that was only the beginning of her contributions. i'll say just briefly, martin luther king jr. selma voting rights campaign was written on a notebook by her in 1963 as a reaction to the birmingham church bombing. she took it and nagged dr. king until he did it. she had tremendous intellectual influence in expanding the scope and identity of the civil rights movement on several occasions in the 60s. >> there are so many people that we don't know enough, and another member of snick we talked to julian about the fact that people are not learning about this enough right now. i know you've written a condensed volume. is part of that effort to degrees the add generation who don't have time to read the 800 page book, as you said, to try to move this education forward number what is at stake if we
don't? >> if we don't learn history we can't learn citizenship on a country that is founded on the notion that our government and our politics is for every citizen. we risk a lot. i'm teaching an experimental course online trying to teach civil rights history to people. i've got people in spain, russia and the solomon islands so i think technology may help, but the fact of the matter is it's a bigger problem than that. we have a history in the united states of being so uncomfortable across racial barriers that we aggressively misremember racial history. i grew up in atlanta and being taught that the civil war had nothing to do with slavery and the people who restore white supremacy in the south were the redeemers. that's a religious term when in fact, it was a terror. that's not just in the south
but president kennedy said he was taught the same thing in harvard. we have a tendency to hide from these realities and we don't appreciate this brief period that was a doorway to new freedoms that we all cherish but not only for black people but for women disabled, senior citizens legal immigrants to change the face of america. and as dr. king said a for the white south who was liberated from segregation to the sun belt. it wasn't even fit for professional sports. >> michael: if you stop learning history you stop learning citizenship. that's taylor branch's author of the king years. if you took a test to determine if you held gender and racial biases how would you score?
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>> michael: "seinfeld" fans and you know who you are, this one is for you. >> there has been a big misunderstanding here. we knew you were eavesdropping. that's why my friend said all that. it was on purpose. we're not gay not that there is anything wrong with that. >> no, of course not. >> that's fine if that's who you are. >> i have many gay friends. >> my father is gay. >> jerry and george are pretending to be a gay couple only to find out the woman they're trying to impress is an undercover reporter who is trying to "out" jerry. in the case of jerry he's gay friendly but concerned about being stigmatizeed for being gay.
it shows how many of us hold you biases that many of us don't know we have. a professor of social ethics at harvard and the author of "blind spot." she joins us from cambridge massachusetts, welcome inside "the war room." >> michael: thank you very much, michaelroom. >> thank you very much michael. >> michael: you weather are those blind spots. >> we use it as a metaphor. we know that our eyes have a blind spot such that when information fall on that part of the retina, we don't see it simply aren't the rods and cones to pick up that information. likewise, our minds also contain blind spots where information resides that is simply not acceptable to us.
>> michael: how dangerous is it that we don't recognize that we have these blind spots. >> it's just about as dangerous no to the no about the blind spots in your mind as it is to not know about your hypertension or insulin level or how your lungs are functioning or how your blood is flowing, all these things about our bodies. many of the disease that is we have are now controllable in part because we devised little gismos devices that can be strapped to hurry wrists, blood that can be drown that had tell us what is going on inside that we have no reason to know about. yet, after we know about it, our behavior massively shifts. we do all sorts of things. we get treated for it, we eat differently, we exercise additionally. we get stressed out differently. this all happens only because of one thing awareness. we're arguing that the same thing is needed for us to be aware of the contents that
exists in our minds that we may not know. >> michael: what would this awareness, you talk about these things that cure or control a bodily disease what would this awareness cure or control in people? >> what awareness does for the good people that we refer to in the title of the book. the title of the book is not just "blind spot" but it's lined blind spot they're in line with their own intentions and aspirations and how they ought to behavior. this is a disparity misbecause we don't know what is happening in our minds our behaviors follow a certain path that seems to be divorced from what our own aspirations might be.
even in the 1930s those who toured the american south discovered in the minds of the white americans in the deep south that this was a disparity they were worried about the fact that they believed people should be treated equally and yet knew that their own behaviors were not lined up. is my sense and i'm sure this is true for my collaborator as well that we both believed when people begin it find out what is in their mind they will feel the urge to think about change in some way. >> michael: that's what makes it so interesting. you created something called the implicit association test where you have to quickly identify african-american children and associate them with good words and bad children. i took it and now i have a preference for after american children. what am i supposed to take away from that? >> michael: you should depending on what you would consciously like to be, you should very good.
i would feel very good in my test showed that result. it's a result that not many white americans show. maybe something like 15% of white americans show that result. the vast majority, 70% show the opposite results. few are neutral. but very few are like you in that they actually show an association of good with black relative to white. >> michael: that's really fascinating stuff and your work is fascinating. that is profession mahazarin banagi, a you are of this "blind spot." visit us on twitter and our facebook page and check out our exclusive web extras. thank you for joining us in "the war room." have a great night. hey, i'm joey aragon. see that film? people call me about this every day.
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